Want to reach into a VR cockpit that’s a little closer to Earth? This week, Daniel Church achieved lift-off with a successful Kickstarter campaign for his virtual reality flight simulator. FlyInside FSX is a plugin for Microsoft Flight Simulator and Prepar3D that brings you inside a completely realistic airplane flight deck.
Well, not entirely realistic – maybe a little bit better. As Daniel points out on his Kickstarter page, “real life pilots don’t have an empty cockpit. They have navigational charts, checklists, clipboards, and even iPads placed around them. With FlyInside, I want you to have your own cockpit. You’ll be able to place sectionals, checklists, and more around you in three-dimensional space.
“You’ll be able to take any window off of your desktop and keep it in the cockpit with you, whether it’s a chart of the airport you’re flying to, or your favorite NetFlix show to entertain you for a long-haul flight.”
Of course, users will need a way to interact with all this content, especially with more flight simulator menus and dialogs being added. Daniel’s first stretch goal for the Kickstarter was to bring hands into the experience, and he’s already made major progress with his Leap Motion integration. Further down the road, users will be able to press buttons inside the cockpit, interact directly with virtual windows, and switch between the virtual flight deck and the real world using the Leap Motion Controller’s image passthrough.
To try an early alpha demo of FlyInside FSX, be sure to check out Daniel’s website. While the free demo doesn’t currently include features like virtual desktop windows and Leap Motion support, it’s still a great preview of how VR can take us to new heights.